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Postpartum Depression - What Happens

Symptoms of postpartum depression start in the weeks to months after childbirth, miscarriage, or stillbirth.

In some cases, symptoms peak after slowly building for 3 or 4 months.

Recommended Related to Postpartum Depression

Understanding Postpartum Depression -- Prevention

Because postpartum depression (PPD) may be related to fluctuation of hormones after childbirth, prevention may not be possible. However, several approaches may help guard against the condition. One of the best things to do is learn as much as you can about what to expect physically and psychologically during pregnancy, childbirth, and parenthood. This may help you develop realistic expectations for yourself and your baby. Take a childbirth education class. Also, talk to other pregnant women and new...

Read the Understanding Postpartum Depression -- Prevention article > >

Postpartum depression makes it hard for you to function well. This includes caring for and bonding with your baby.

In rare cases, dangerous postpartum psychosis symptoms can occur within the first few postpartum weeks, as soon as a few days after childbirth.

Early treatment counts

Early treatment is important for you, your baby, and the rest of your family. The sooner you start, the more quickly you will recover. And there's less chance that your depression will affect your baby. Babies of depressed mothers might be less attached to their mothers and might lag behind developmentally in behavior and mental ability.

For more information about who is more likely to have postpartum depression, see What Increases Your Risk.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 16, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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